Weekend thoughts

2009, Photography

The first buzz of Olympus E-P1 has settled after nearly a week and it seems that quite a lot of my contacts are considering this camera. But would I consider it too? I have followed the on-going rumors and excitement the last few weeks with great interest and I think it is great that a manufacturer finally has the balls to develop such a camera. And I can only hope more will follow.
Until here
I think the E-P1 is an interesting concept and I personally like the form factor. I do however think that the camera looks a bit like a gimmick. Either shiny silver or white (?). I don’t get it. Why develop a small unobtrusive camera with interchangeable lenses when the coloring can easily be noticed? Why not use the same finish as with the dSLR’s from Olympus, black and ruggid.

Olympus admitted they use in-camera distortion correction to develop small lenses. And yes, the 17mm f/2.8 prime does look small. But after seeing some first photographs from this lens I am not really excited. I have seen photographs with strange looking square formatted patterns in the blurred backgrounds. Quite unnatural and very unpleasent. I have tried some RAW photographs from the E-P1 too and I was able to open them in Lightzone. They all opened way too dark and increasing the exposure in post processing resulted in more noise. Strange and I wonder what Olympus will apply in their RAW processor (or demand from other software developers) to handle their RAW photographs.

But in the between all the topics of gearheads and the bashing and trashing of cameras I have come to the conclusion that I haven’t been able to photograph this week. Thankfully the weekend started and tomorrow I will go to the North Sea beach. The beach is always a great place for photographic opportunities in my opinion. And since I decided to take the Sigma DP1 with me I thought it was appropriate to post some recent photographs taken with my, not forgotten, Ricoh GX200.
Wait Ici
In the end however the gear doesn’t matter to me, photographs do.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Update June 20, 2009
Also RAW Therapee is able to open the RAW photographs from the E-P1 and seems to do a much better job in my opinion.


15 thoughts on “Weekend thoughts

  1. Wouter, I agree ! It’s the photographs that matter, with whichever tool is chosen to capture the image. I’m particularly enjoying my LX3 at the moment (as well as a Ricoh CX1), we just need to use whatever is best – and to hand – at the time. However, I can’t pretend I wouldn’t be interested in a Panasonic or Ricoh version of something like an E-P1, because I’m sure it would be far better executed & produce excellent RAW files. If either were to be a substantial improvement on LX3 or GX200 … count me in for a Black one – but not for Silver, Pink or White !
    All the best,
    http://lx3imaging.wordpress.com (new lx3 blog)

      1. Wouter,
        Thanks … looks like you’re getting great results – as always – from your (old !) GX200, and I’m sure it was a model Panasonic looked at closely in developing the LX3.
        Enjoy your weekend – look forward to seeing the photographs !

        1. I do believe so too Nick. Ricoh and Panasonic have been in close competetion on the Japanese market for some time. And the GX100 was just much better than the LX2.

          And Panasonic did a hell of a job with the LX3. A wonderful camera indeed.

  2. True words, Wouter. I had also mixed feelings after seeing the first samples. Anyway, we don´t need to buy a new camera – and the development of the E-P1 is definitely a step in the right direction. So let´s see what the reviewers say – and what follows in the next months. 😉

    Concerning the pictures: Nice to see some people street photography again. The last shot is terrific!

    1. Hope to do more street thing today. It is so much fun. Come on, it is 2009, bad economics, who needs a new camera? I hope the time is over that a new button on a camera could be announced as an improved camera. Where are the times that a camera was produced for more than five years? Remember the Nikon F4 for instance.

      Thankfully photographs last longer 😀

      1. In digital times, they last longer as long as we have good backups. Talking of which, my backup drive just died and I have to get a new one… and they are sooo expensive around here… but anyway, all the stuff that´s building my digital life is probably worth spending the money…

  3. Good words Wouter. I’m on the fence with the E-P1. Notquite sure it’s what I’m looking for, though like many I appreciate Olympus’s bold efforts. Always nice to see your pictures. Enjoy your weekend.

    1. Enjoy your weekend too Andrew. Do you need a new camera, are you happy with the camera you have, are the photographs you take still up to your expectations? Yes, the E-P1 looks nice, but you seem in doubt. I think it is better to leave your money on your bank account. Go shooting instead.


  4. Agree with DLC, that last shot is true street photography! If it wasn’t for that damn color, I’d consider one but I’ll wait and see what other companies will be doing…what the hell were they thinking???!!!

  5. Hello Wouter,
    I have each borrowed the ricoh, leica (panasonic) & sigma from collegues of mine for just under a week and really put all of them through their paces. I too like making photographs a lot and was looking for a compact with similar features as the above mentioned but found all of them lacking true SLR interfacing in some way thus waited (& waited) for the E-P1, which i now have been using for about a week or so. While not perfect in every sence it beats all 3 hands down in terms of image quality, built, interfacing & usable photographic functionality. Main improvements for the E-P2 could be faster AF, better screen resolution (although the MF assist is a great function) & yes, a black version indeed. Just my two cents!

    1. Thank you for your comment Bjørn! I was excited when the camera was first announced, but still keep some reservations. I personally want to have a small camera with interchangeable lenses that can be used with an OVF (or EVF). I don’t want to use the LCD screen. Still I think your information is very interesting, in particular because you compared it with the Ricoh, Leica and Sigma cameras.

      Gr. Wouter

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